Is your bottle of Poland Spring water really from a spring?
A lawsuit filed in federal court in Connecticut earlier this week alleges it isn't, calling the Nestle-owned brand label that reads "100% Natural Spring Water" a "colossal fraud."
The complaint, which seeks class-action status, claims Poland Spring parent company Nestle Waters North America is actually selling water that doesn't meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration definition of spring water.
It also alleges water in Poland Spring-labeled bottles isn't "collected from pristine mountain or forest springs as the images on those labels depict." Rather, they contain "ordinary groundwater" collected from wells drilled in "saturated plains or valleys where the water table is within a few feet of the earth's surface."
None of the eight "natural springs" Nestle purportedly uses qualifies as a genuine spring under FDA rules, the suit further claims. "To feign compliance with FDA regulations, defendant has gone so far as to build or maintain phony, man-made 'springs' at all seven of its other sites," according to the complaint.
The "false and deceptive product labels" let Nestle overcharge consumers, the suit alleges.
The claims are without merit, a Nestle spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water" and meets FDA regulations that define spring water, as well as federal and state regulations governing spring water, according to the company, which also posted a response to the suit on its website.